Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast are expected to join the Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) by the end of September, officials said on Wednesday.
ATI CEO George Otieno told a media briefing in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast were all at advanced stages of joining ATI.
“We hope that their respective parliaments will have ratified the treaty to join ATI in the next two to three months,” Otieno said.
The three states will also be required to sign a participatory agreement with ATI whereby the country agrees to reimburse ATI for any political risk claim paid out in its country.
ATI is a pan-African trade and investment insurer that is owned by ten African governments including Kenya, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Benin and Madagascar.
ATI was formed in 2001 by seven African states to offer political risk insurance, which was the biggest hindrance to capital inflows into their nations.
Otieno said that all the joining states will get a soft loan from multilateral finance institutions to acquire shareholding in ATI.
Zimbabwe will get a credit of 10 million U.S. dollars from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank and five million dollars from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to join ATI.
Ivory Coast and Ethiopia will get 15 million dollars and 7.5 million dollars from the AfDB in order to acquire membership at the pan African trade insurer.
Otieno said the three countries were joining ATI because they have seen how other countries have benefited in terms of trade and investments.
“From 2003 to date, Kenya has been able to attract ten billion dollars of Foreign Direct Investment because of its membership in ATI,” he said.
He said ATI hoped to have 23 African states as members of his organization in the next five years.